Sunday, January 26, 2014

"Ask Bilbo" Returns!

In last Friday's post, I announced the return of "Ask Bilbo," the occasional feature in which I offer to answer your pressing questions*. I have done this three times before: in October and November of last year (Part 1 and Part 2), and in August of 2011, and it seemed like a good time to try it again.

As of this morning, five of you have sent in questions, and so here we go ...

Q (Angel): "What TV programs do you watch? Do you watch sports, comedies, dramas, news programs?"

A: I don't watch a lot of TV, but my favorite current shows are NCIS, Castle, Sherlock, Elementary, and Dancing with the Stars (when it's in season). I also like Game of Thrones, but am watching it on DVDs because we don't get HBO. Agnes and I are watching a new series on the SyFy network called Helix, which is interesting in a weird and paranoid sort of way. In general, I like dramas and comedies, can't stand Law and Order: SVU and Criminal Minds (both of which Agnes likes), never watch sports, and think most news shows are a waste of time, particularly on Fox (if you can think of it as "news").

Q (Duckbutt): "What sort of fiction do you read?"

A: I prefer nonfiction, but enjoy a lot of fiction as well. I like science fiction, historical fiction, suspense, and thrillers, but will read just about anything that catches my eye. Right now, I'm reading A Dance with Dragons, the last of the published volumes of George R.R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" series (on which the "Game of Thrones" TV series is based). Some of my favorite authors are Carl Hiaasen (hysterically funny stories of bizarre people and events in Florida); Rennie Airth (his novels featuring English detective inspector John Madden are wonderful); Carlos Ruiz Zafon (The Shadow of the Wind, Marina, and others); John Dunning (his "Bookman" series is great, as is the wonderful World War II mystery Two O'Clock Eastern Wartime); and Harry Turtledove (who writes superb alternate history novels, especially The Guns of the South and The Man with the Iron Heart). I also recommend Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's novels based on Dante's Divine Comedy: Inferno and Escape from Hell. Oh, and for gritty historical fiction, I very much enjoy the works of Bernard Cornwell. I could go on**, but that's enough for now. Got anything to recommend?

Q (Allenwoodhaven): "How often do you read comments, particularly for older posts?"

A: I read all comments on every post, although I don't always have time to respond to them. I don't often go back and read comments on older posts unless I'm going to refer to a particular post and want to know what the reactions to it were before. If you really want a response to a particular comment, send me an e-mail at der_blogmeister(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Q (Grand Crapaud): "Where do you find those great cartoons for Cartoon Saturday?"

A: I get asked this question a lot. I find new cartoons every day in various places on the Internet, Facebook, and sites like I also scan cartoons I find in newspapers and magazines that aren't available digitally, and many are e-mailed to me by friends who spot them and think I'd like them (I accept all contributions at my e-mail address given above). I have an enormous collection of cartoons, many of them arranged by topic (which is how I'm able easily to pull together cartoons on a particular subject).

Q (Clarissa): "Do you foresee a third party being viable?"

A: This is a question The Bastard King of England asked in one of my previous "Ask Bilbo" posts. Here's what I said at that time, which I think is still true: "No. The two major political parties in America are so entrenched and so well-funded that the chances of a third party being successful are remote in the extreme. The most likely candidate for a new third party is probably a hyper-conservative group growing out of the extreme right wing of the GOP, but while it will be extremely loyal and vocal, it will be too extreme for the vast majority of Americans and would be crushed in a national election except in the most gerrymandered of districts."

So, there you are - your questions answered by the Sage of Springfield. Got any more? Leave a comment or send me an e-mail ... if I get enough, we'll do this again.

Have a good day, and enjoy the rest of your weekend. More thoughts tomorrow.


* About topics other than ironing, too, ha-ha.

** You have NO idea ...


Duckbutt said...

I recently read "Insane City" by Dave Barry; and found it a really good laugh. I regularly read Michael Connelly, Laura Lippman, and John Sandford. Also books by George V. Higgins, but some of his are hard to find. Finally, Alexandre Dumas.

Bilbo said...

I read "Insane City," too. It was very funny, and very much in the Carl Hiaasen style.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

I regularly watch "The Big Band Theory", "Modern Family", and "The New Girl". And "Justified". I'll try some of those, as I need something else.

Mike said...

I'm still into Elementary. NCIS is starting to lose my attention. Agnes is right about Criminal Minds.

Big Sky Heidi said...

I like Elementary and Castle too.